Preventing Addiction Before It Starts

Governor Christie Marks National Prescription Drug Take Back Day In Toms River

Project Medicine Drop: In New Jersey, the Project Medicine Drop program has been an important component of efforts to halt the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs by providing consumers with an opportunity to discard unused prescription medications every day throughout the year at participating law enforcement agencies. Having drop-off points at police departments, sheriff’s offices, State Police stations, military installations, and college public safety agencies across New Jersey allows citizens to safely dispose of their unused, excess or expired prescription medications.

•       Since its launch in 2011, Project Medicine Drop (PMD) has resulted in the collection of 157,162 pounds – or just over 78 tons - of unused medications. For 2016 alone, 68,200 thousand pounds of prescription drugs were dropped off at collection locations throughout the state.

•       As of this past December 2016, 212 stationary drop boxes and 148 mobile drop boxes have been issued statewide. Additionally, another 25 PMD boxes will be installed throughout New Jersey this year.

In April 2015, Governor Christie signed legislation advancing the continuation of the Department of Law & Public Safety’s (L&PS) Project Medicine Drop. In addition, the legislation provided for future expansion of the program at the funding discretion of the Department. It also required L&PS to post on its website a list of all secure prescription medicine drop-off locations, including receptacles maintained by the Division of Consumer Affairs, as well as any receptacle located in New Jersey that is approved by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

Walgreens Collaboration: In December 2016, Governor Christie visited the Walgreen’s pharmacy in East Brunswick to announce a collaboration with Walgreen’s for their Safe Medication Disposal Program. Their efforts are the first of their kind by a nationwide retailer to provide a safe and convenient way to dispose of unwanted, unused or expired prescriptions, including controlled dangerous substances (CDS), and over-the-counter medications at no cost.

Expansion of Prescription Monitoring Program (NJPMP) to Include Interstate Data-Sharing: In October 2014, Governor Christie announced that the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program (NJPMP) expanded its interstate data-sharing capabilities to connect with the State of Delaware’s Prescription Monitoring Program.  In 2015, The Christie Administration announced the expansion of the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program now sharing data with Rhode Island, Virginia, Minnesota, and South Carolina. In April 2016, Governor Christie announced New York would become the seventh state to partner with New Jersey’s Prescription Monitoring Program.

The latest data shows that prescribers are successfully making use of the ability to view cross-border prescription information. During 2016, data requests totaled 591,411, a 417 percent increase from 2015.

•       95,640 prescriber data requests in the first quarter, with 18,953 between New Jersey and Connecticut and 23,859 between New Jersey and Delaware;

•       182,540 data requests in the second quarter, when we began sharing with New York. There were 59,369 requests between New Jersey and New York,  27,335 between New Jersey and Connecticut, and 26,643 between New Jersey and Delaware;

•       156,430 data requests in the third quarter, with 24,310 between New Jersey and Connecticut, 21,726 between New Jersey and Delaware, and 55,273 between New Jersey and New York;

•       156,801 data requests in the fourth quarter, with 22,512 between New Jersey and Connecticut, 23,478 between New Jersey and Delaware and 46,704 between New Jersey and New York. 

Prevention of “Doctor Shopping”: In July 2015, Governor Christie signed legislation that broadens the use of the NJPMP by doctors and pharmacists, and implements new methods for preventing “doctor shopping” that occurs with prescription and opioid abuse.

•       Expanding New Jersey healthcare professionals’ access to the NJPMP by, among other things, requiring that prescribers and pharmacists register for NJPMP access, and requiring that physicians consult the NJPMP under limited circumstances

•       Requiring pharmacists to submit identifying information for any individual who picks up a prescription for a patient, and pharmacies to submit information to the NJPMP every seven days, rather than every 30 days as previously required.

•        Requiring the Attorney General’s Office to continue its current practice of automatically registering prescribers and pharmacists for NJPMP access when granting or renewing the practitioners’ State registration to prescribe or dispense CDS.

In April 2015, Governor Christie signed legislation that strengthens the Attorney General’s ability to coordinate statewide law enforcement efforts against opioid abuse in the Garden State. These coordination activities include the Division of Consumer Affairs and professional licensing boards in identifying, investigating, and prosecuting the illegal sources and distribution of prescription opioid drugs; taking appropriate steps to enhance the oversight by professional licensing boards; and providing training to law enforcement officials, physicians, and pharmacists. 

To further enhance the NJPMP’s usefulness to healthcare professionals, the Division of Consumer Affairs launched a first-in-the-nation mobile app that allows authorized users of the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program to access the database via Apple smartphones and handheld devices.

Press Contact:
Brian Murray

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